The Contemporary Development Sector in Kenya: The Emergence of a Development Assemblage

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:00
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Brian DILL, University of Illinois, USA
Globalization has transformed the development sector. As people have become increasingly connected across larger distances and interdependent in different ways, the organizations that constitute the development sector have become ever more diverse and interconnected as they work to advance a range of global agendas.  The development sector now consists of various actors, including the organizations that constitute the state apparatus, development banks, bilateral development agencies, international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), private equity companies, and multinational corporations.  This diversity is particularly evident in efforts to ensure universal energy access.  Whereas the postcolonial African state used to be the sole owner, operator, and organizer of national power sectors in the pursuit of national development objectives, it is now one actor in a development assemblage that seeks to expand access to electricity in the service of overlapping national, regional, and global goals. This paper documents and explains the transformation of the Kenyan power sector as it has shifted from a national concern to a broader development assemblage.  By assemblage I mean a novel and dynamic set of relationships among a wide range of actors that conforms to a specific pattern.  I argue that an analysis of this assemblage advances our understanding of how the development sector is being transformed with respect to the actors involved, their relationships to one another, and their subsequent capacities to effect change.